By Francesca Merlo
Taking place from 20 to 24 September, the Plenary Assembly of the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops (CCCB) will take place online. The news came in a statement released on the Bishops' Conference's website on Friday.
The Bishops write that the decision was made in consideration of the ongoing public health recommendations on gatherings regarding COVID-19, as well as concern for the health and safety of all involved.
The virtual format
Within the virtual format, reads the statement, "Bishops will address a number of important subjects, including the pastoral priority of healing and reconciliation with Indigenous Peoples, to which the Bishops of Canada remain fully committed".
Along with this, other key topics will be discussed, such as "how to re-engage or continue the mission of the Church following the coronavirus pandemic; family and life initiatives; and the multi-phase journey leading up to the 2023 Synod of Bishops entitled 'For a Synodal Church: Communication, Participation and Mission'".
In addition, the statement reads, the new Apostolic Nuncio to Canada, Archbishop Ivan Jurkovic, "will deliver his first address to the Bishops of Canada by videoconference". After this, the Bishops of Canada will conclude the election process for the new CCCB Executive Committee consisting of a President, a Vice-President, and two Co-Treasurers, one from each the English and French Sector.
As in 2020 year, when the Plenary Assembly was also held virtually, meetings by videoconference will need additional consideration regarding timetables and the agenda. "Owing to a condensed agenda, topics of general interest – typically featured on the first day-and-a-half of past in-person meetings – will be postponed until next year and likewise precludes the participation of invited observers and guests from a number of national Catholic organizations, as well as accredited representatives of the media as in years past", reads the statement.
A summary of the discussions and key decisions from the Plenary will be issued at the conclusion of the meeting.